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N.H.'s Economic Forecast Cloudy As Lawmakers Craft New Two-Year Budget

New Hampshire isn’t seeing the same kind of economic growth following the recent recession as it has in the past.  And as the governor and lawmakers begin to debate the next two year budget, those forecasted numbers become especially important. 

Lawmakers are beginning this week with an overlook of the state’s economy.  A big part of that economic picture comes from last month’s report by the New England Economic Partnership. 

The report forecasts how each of the six New England states’ economies will fare in 2013.  For New Hampshire, that means slow growth is likely to continue throughout the year.

Economist Dennis Delay helped put the report together and was part of the briefing for lawmakers on Monday.  

Earlier in the day, on The Exchange, he said a big hit to the state’s economy was the bursting of the housing bubble, which slowed the migration of people into New Hampshire. 

And he said it doesn’t help that the state’s population keeps getting older.

“That has lots of implications not only for health care costs and other things but in terms of how the population is structured and what the population thinks of as their priorities.”

Also on The Exchange, Ross Gittell, the state’s forecast manager for the economic partnership, said his takeaway from the analysis is that the state needs to focus more on its own population.

“Instead of relying on people from elsewhere to move in, highly educated and highly skilled, we have to work more on educating and upgrading the skills of our own.”

Gittell is also the chancellor for the state’s community college system. He says investment in education K-16 will help improve New Hampshire’s economic growth in the long-term.